About Art Therapy
Art therapy is a method that unites the joy of creativity (sensations evoked by artistic materials) with the possibility to learn more about oneself. As such, in Italy it is considered a psychodynamic therapy while in the United Kingdom and the United States it is recognized as a form of psychotherapy. Since it combines two disciplines, the art therapist has normally begun life either as an artist (favoured in the UK) or as a psychologist (favoured in Italy), acquiring the other 'half' thanks to the specific training as an art therapist. In my case, I graduated from the University of Southampton in Fine Arts (1999) and I obtained a Masters (2011) in the United Kingdom. I became Art Therapist in 2016 thanks to the 4 year training at Art Therapy Italiana in Bologna. I am on the UK Government's register of the Health Care Professions Council as 'Art Psychotherapist' (Number AS 16144) and in Italy I am on the register of ApiArt (Professional Association of Italian Art Therapists, Number 397).
The British Association of Art Therapists defines Art Therapy as follows:
'Art Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses the medium of art as a mode of expression and communication. In this context, art is not a diagnostic tool but a means to deal with emotional difficulties that can create confusion and suffering.
Art therapists work with children, young people, adults and the elderly. Clients may have a wide range of difficulties, disabilities or diagnoses. These include emotional, behavioural or mental health problems, learning or physical disabilities, life-limiting conditions, neurological conditions and physical illnesses.
Art therapy is provided in groups or individually, depending on clients' needs. It is not a recreational activity or an art lesson, although the sessions can be enjoyable. Clients do not need to have any previous experience or expertise in art.'